cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Deja Vu

Early in the month of May five years ago I had “the talk” with my husband that got the wheels rolling for me to be sitting here at my computer telling this part of my story. For a great while my heart had longed to move to Cleveland and live near my family. And so on that sunny May day I gathered my courage and asked my husband to help me figure out how to make my dream a possibility. Of all the ways I expected him to reply he surprised me by immediately saying he would help me. He was aware that I had not been happy for a while, and neither was he. I remember the tenderness of this moment when we both acknowledged we were ready to let go of our marriage. I think it was one of our finest moments.

The next months were a whirlwind of making the arrangements necessary to pack up and begin my life anew. It was three months and two days after that talk that I arrived in Cleveland to stay. My time here has borne rich fruit. I spend good times close to family members, especially my growing grandchildren. We share in celebrations and hardships as a family. It is a precious surprise to find I have a life and friends of my own here. I have even allowed myself to enjoy the gift of being my own person apart from family members. I consider myself settled in my new home in every way. The other day it was a real jolt to discover strong feelings I still have for my former home.

Recently a couple of my friends and I went to a Book Discussion Day. We learned that Virginia Woolf’s novels influenced the writing of the featured author. One friend decided to read Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and explore this idea. She invited me to read the book and discuss it with her. I remembered that Virginia Woolf was one of the Bloomsbury school of writers. I also thought I remembered that the small group of town houses I called home in Chicago was called Bloomsbury Townhomes. To check my memory I Googled the name Bloomsbury and my street address. Suddenly there appeared on my computer screen pictures of the sidewalk in front of my house and a low brick wall beside it. I could see the Jewish Day Nursery and its playground across the street from me. The sound of children always made me happy. Seeing these familiar scenes took my breath away. My chest tightened and I cried. I could not believe what I was feeling. I thought I had said good-bye to Chicago. I had packed up and moved the things that really mattered. My dream of living close to my family was a reality. So why was I overcome with emotion ?

I could leave my husband. I could let go of almost all my books, many household items – mine and some that were my mother’s, clothes and even furniture and never look back. What I could not erase was the sense of place that encompassed me and the home I inhabited for almost twenty years. I will never want to erase living through good times and growing pains that I experienced there. It has found its place inside me as part of my whole. I am grateful.

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Haiku: Domestic Arrangements

Iron patio chairs
May lounge lazy in sunshine
Still work must be done

Mulch-filled wheelbarrow
Orange colored old veteran
Readied for service

Alas weather changed.
Backup wheelbarrow rolled out
And placed up-side-down

Like sugar bowl lid
Covering earthy compost
It keeps off the rain

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Haiku: Islands in the Sun

Iron patio chairs
Stalwart remnants of Summer
Take on a new life

Retrieved from storage
Optimistic sun-seekers
Awaiting the Spring

Random arrangement
Solitary testament
To power of hope

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Haiku: Alchemy of Aging

Days become more still
Old siren songs grow quieter
I hear new drumbeat

Amazing freedom
Choreographs day’s tempo
Measured steps suit me

Laughter and lightness
Transform binding to-do lists
To “catch as catch can”

I watch with wonder
Diminishing energy
Re-shapes my desires

Life has new balance
I find joy in small things
Transformed into gold

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Ode to a Crinkly Green Glass

One of a set that once graced our table
An elegant juice glass, emerald-green and dimpled
Now cherished remnant you are part of my morning
I fill you with water to drink with my pills
Still I remember

You were one of six glasses
There were five of us
Sipping our orange juice.
Three sons eating Captain Crunch
And we parents our oatmeal

Five glasses were scattered
Or shattered, quite disappeared
Children grew up and went on their way
Parents marriage arrived at its sad end
Yet you a single green glass survived

One crinkly green glass
You shine in bright sunlight
Years later reminder of family life
And stories passed on to six grandchildren
Who go on beyond us. I wish them each a green glass.

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Haiku: Spring Nudgings

Leaf buds unfurling
Squirrels nip them for dinner
Life cycles in gear

Pool cover removed
We await fresh blue water
Still wearing jackets

Moon in the night sky
Ever waxing and waning
Some things are constant

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Haiku: Medium as Message

Window pane raindrops
Exclamation points slant-wise
Forecast the weather

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Haiku: Yin and Yang of Memory

Memories cherished
Flowing deep gentle waters
Snag on hidden rocks.

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge #28
http://wp.me/p4xNpg-4xC

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Mom’s Pearls of Wisdom

Doing my Christmas shopping last year I was stumped at what to get for my son Bob and his family. They were going to California to be with my daughter-in-law Linda’s family and were planning excursions to Big Sur and skiing near Lake Tahoe. I didn’t want to add any large sized gifts to their luggage but wanted my gift to be special since my oldest grandson Bobby would be a Freshman in college next year. This was the last Christmas “as it always was” for them. Then a lightbulb went off in my head.

Buying a fresh Christmas tree and decorating it together was a huge tradition in their family. Over the years I had given Bob and Linda crystal angels, stars and snow flakes to hang on the tree. For Bobby and his brother James it was Fisher Price toys and Thomas the Tank engine train sets before their interest turned to Pac-Man and beyond and I had to ask their parents for suggestions. This special year I thought the perfect gift would be ornaments for everyone in the family. Part of the fun for me is shopping around for just the right gift for each person. Then I imagined how they would love the surprise as they unwrapped their new ornaments and decorated the tree. And afterwards cherish the memory.

This wasn’t to be. Getting off to California was quite a production and eclipsed the gift of Christmas ornaments. When my son and his family got back I heard how each person had experienced something uniquely suited to them and what a grand adventure the trip turned out to be. I was thrilled to hear their stories. Maybe next year when it is time to get out all the ornaments for another tree “my” ornaments will come to light.

I learned that you can’t make a memory for somebody else. Loved ones and children will weave their own experience from shared tales into a memory and then it becomes precious to them.

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Haiku: Morning Exercise

Newspaper crumples
Reduced now to a small square
Just word-puzzle sized

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